Five-year Goals and Associated Interim Benchmarks

In January 2017, the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina unanimously approved Higher Expectations, a five-year Strategic Plan for the UNC System. The Plan calls on the UNC System to achieve ambitious goals in access, student success, affordability and efficiency, economic impact and community engagement, and institutional excellence and diversity.

Progress on these goals and metrics will be achieved through the hard work and commitment of institutional leaders, faculty, and staff. In that spirit, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics has identified these contributions that North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics aspires to make to the UNC Strategic Plan over the next five years.

Prioritize

Rural and Low-income Enrollments

By the 2021 academic year, increase the number of students from Tier 1, Tier 2, and low-income schools in Tier 3 enrolled in NCSSM’s residential and virtual learning programs (online and IVC) by 15% over fall 2016 levels.

From the North Carolina School of Science and Math: NCSSM has a legislative mandate to admit students from across North Carolina’s congressional districts and counties. While we have been below target for this goal in some years due to decreased enrollment of students from Tier 1 & 2 counties in some distance education programming, this year we have increased 11% from our baseline due to an increase distance course offerings with Tier 1 and 2 schools and targeted admissions recruitment strategies for all programs.

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Enrollment of Underrepresented Minority Students

By the 2021 academic year, increase the number of URM students enrolled in NCSSM’s residential and virtual learning programs (online and IVC) by 25% over 2016-17 academic year levels.

From the North Carolina School of Science and Math: NCSSM has increased nearly 40% from baseline and surpassed our goal of a 25% increase in both residential and distance education enrollments of URM students. An increase in distance courses serving URM students as well as targeted admissions outreach strategies in our residential program have proved successful in helping us reach our goals.  

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NCSSM Graduates Earning Undergraduate and/or Graduate Degrees in STEM Fields

By the 2022 academic year, 70.7% of all NCSSM graduates will have earned their undergraduate and/or graduate degrees in a STEM, health sciences, or STEM education field.

From the North Carolina School of Science and Math: Recognizing its obligation to energize economic development in North Carolina, NCSSM will increase the proportion of graduates who earn STEM, health sciences, or STEM education degrees to 70 percent. The school will increase opportunities for students to engage in research, mentorships, and internships; will increase computer science and interdisciplinary STEM course offerings; and will expand its STEM career-focused speaker series.

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Partnerships with School Districts in Rural and Low-income Counties

By the 2021 academic year, increase by 20 (with at least 15 being in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties and low-income schools in Tier 3) the number of schools or school systems with which NCSSM has an affiliated, cooperative, or engaged partnership, as defined in NCSSM’s Strategic Plan. This would increase the number of partnerships to 95, with 63 being Tier 1, 2, and low-income Tier 3 schools or LEA’s.

From the North Carolina School of Science and Math: While we have been below target on this goal for prior years, NCSSM has seen an increase this past year in our outreach, partnering with more public schools and LEAs with synchronous distance learning courses during the pandemic. We hope to continue increasing our professional development offerings for teachers and course opportunities for students across North Carolina. 

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Opportunities for Students to Participate in Real-World/Applied Learning through Research, Mentorship, Internship, Entrepreneurial, and Other Learning Opportunities

By the 2021 academic year, NCSSM will increase student participation in research, mentorship, internship, entrepreneurial, and/or other real-world learning opportunities by 20% over the 2016 academic year.

From the North Carolina School of Science and Math: NCSSM has reached or exceeded its goal in offering real-world/applied learning opportunities each year of the strategic plan prior to the current reporting year. Unfortunately, in 2020-21, several courses were unavailable due to the pandemic. Many of our programs used creative virtual options to provide access to real-world and applied learning opportunities. However, these data reflect a decrease in offerings during NCSSM’s January term, which was halved for all students due to pandemic shifts.

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